Breeding Success at HFCS Fish Farm

Recently Mr McCarthy prepared the Gudgeon aquarium for the birth of the new Gudgeons. The other fish were moved out of the tank. We noticed the male fanning the eggs to help protect them. Later that week, the male fish was removed to prevent the male from eating  the eggs.

They Hatched Last Wednesday

We were very excited when we found out that the gudgeons had hatched. The baby gudgeons are very small and you can’t see them that well. Their diet is also very small. They eat crushed brine shrimp and micro worms. We crush it up so that they can eat it. The micro worms are also very small. They actually look like liquid when they all clump up in the container but you can see them when separated. Later we will have to get more tanks for the gudgeons when they grow up otherwise there won’t be enough space. By using a heater the gudgeons laid their eggs earlier than they would otherwise. They normally only lay eggs in summer so by making it warm, they think it’s already summer.

Video 1: The male is fanning the eggs to keep them cool.


Video 2: Two day old baby Gudgeons



Facts About Purple Spotted Gudgeons

Purple spotted Gudgeons can grow up to 6 -12 cm long.
Their scientific name is Mogurnda Adspersa.
They lay their eggs on solid surfaces.
They normally don’t continuously swim.
Males will clean the spawning site.

Articles written by Thien- An, Sama  Lingampally, Christina Sirisay, Kiara Earl


The Nitrogen Cycle

An important part of the fish farm is aquaponics. This happens through the Nitrogen Cycle. The Nitrogen Cycle turns waste made by the fish into food or nutrients that the plants need.

This is what happens.

Firstly the fish waste/fish poop mixes with the bacteria in the water. Then that becomes ammonia. Ammonia can kill the fish if there is too much of it but bacteria will attack this and turn it into Nitrites.

Too many Nitrites can still kill the fish but it’s not as deadly as the ammonia. When bacteria attacks the ammonia, it becomes nitrates. The plants will take the nitrates out and these help the plants grow.

You can see the amounts of ammonia and nitrates using a testing kit. You can buy testing kits in pet shops and Woolworths and also online shops. The testing kits come with a test tube, 2 solutions and a chart telling you how much ammonia or nitrates is in the water.

By Samadarshi Lingampally & Thien-An Dang


Bearded Dragon Lizard Breeding News

As well as breeding fish, our school is also trying to breed bearded dragon lizards.We have two bearded dragon lizards in the Mudla, a male called Memphis and a female called Psycho.

A while ago, Psycho laid 14 eggs. We didn’t know that Psycho was a female until she laid her eggs. The eggs were not fertile (there were no babies inside).

We now have a playing pen inside the Mudla for both Memphis and Psycho. Memphis sometimes does a mating dance to impress Psycho. We are hoping that Psycho will become pregnant. If she does, she will lay her eggs in 4-6 weeks.

We will keep you informed.

Thien-An Dang and Sama Lingampally 56HM



Fish Farm Breeding Program at HFCS

Our school has been given the ability to keep fish at our school so we have started a breeding program for two fish, one is called Yara Pigmy Perch and the other is the Southern Purple Spotted Gudgeon.

The Yarra Pigmy Perch is endangered because of pollution in our water ways. We have also introduced fish like carp that eat their eggs. It is our fault that these fish are endangered and our school is trying to fix this problem. We have been given some Yarra Pigmy Perch and we are going to breed from them. After that, we will release them into the Salisbury Wetlands near the school.

At our school we also have the Southern Purple Spotted Gudgeon which is endangered as well. They are endangered because of habitat loss and fertiliser polluting their waterways.

This is a big breeding project that may go on for years. Since this is such an important project, we have been granted around $8000 for it.
We also have Sylvia Zukowski from Aqua Save working with us on this project.

Thien-An and Sama Lingampally – Yr 5HM

Hands on Science , Mathematics and construction in our Fish Farm

Students have been engaged in a range of investigations and constructions in our fish farm. Year 3/4 students increased their knowledge of decimals by measuring the pH level of each tank and recording their results. Older students assisted with constructing aquariums, Max the turtle loves his new tank!

Our students clearly understand the importance of maintaining a high water quality in all of our displays  and so enthusiastically extract and replace the water by exploring their knowledge of siphons  and gravity.

Simon our “aquaponic tradie” has been constructing viewing platforms and safety rails to ensure our centre complies with safety regulations and he’s also donated some amazing new goldfish .

Thanks for your great support Simon.

The school staff have been working on ways to deliver some amazing projects in our centre including some spectacular art work.

We look forward to a formal launch of our fish farm and the announcement of a significant name for project.


Fish Farm

Fish farm engagement this week included students constructing aquariums and long fish pods. A feature of Open Day saw students conduct tours of our fish farm engaging our visitors with an array of aquaponic information. Students are also learning about the importance of water quality and continually conducting water testing focusing on the nitrogen cycle. We are very proud of their investigations and research.

Our Silver Perch, Barramundi, Murray Cod, Yabbies and Catfish are doing well. Our goldfish have been relocated into their a larger tank. We look forward to constructing more aquariums and expanding our aquaponic adventures.